Paul J. Pantano, Jr. focuses his practice in the areas of energy, commodities and derivatives law. He represents swap and commodity dealers, brokerage firms, energy companies and trade associations in a wide variety of regulatory, investigative, litigation and transactional matters.

Paul regularly represents clients in investigations and regulatory matters before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), self-regulatory organizations, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Chambers USA (2023) ranks Paul in Band 1 for Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation) - USA - Nationwide, Capital Markets: Derivatives - USA - Nationwide, Derivatives: Mainly Regulatory - USA - Nationwide and Derivatives: Enforcement - USA - Nationwide. Chambers Global (2024) ranks him in Band 1 for Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation) - USA, Band 1 for Derivatives - USA, and in the Spotlight Table for Derivatives: Mainly Regulatory and Derivatives: Enforcement - USA. He is also recognized in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers.


Prior to entering private practice, Paul was a trial attorney in the Division of Enforcement of the CFTC, where he represented the Commission in numerous civil and administrative enforcement actions.

Paul is a past chair of the American Bar Association Committee on Derivatives and Futures Law. He is a member of the Law & Compliance Division of the Futures Industry Association, the Energy Bar Association and a former adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School, where he co-taught a graduate law course on the regulation of commodity and derivatives transactions. He is a member of the Duke Law Alumni Board of Visitors.

  • "CFTC Alleges Manipulative Trading on a Decentralized Digital Asset Platform," Futures and Derivatives Law Report (June 2023)

  • “A Shakespearean Guide to the Regulation of Renewable Energy Contracts,” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (February 2022)

  • “FERC to Traders: 'Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed to Repeat It',” Energy Law Report (November 2021)

  • “FERC Settlement Highlights Transparency For Power Cos.” Law360 (May 2021)

  • “Regulatory Monitor: CFTC Update” The Investment Lawyer (January 2021)

  • “Open Market Manipulation: The Dangers of Policing Thought” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (November 2019)

  • “To Spoof or Not to Spoof? The DOJ Answers the Question” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (January 2019)

  • “The Duty of Diligent Supervision: To Whom and What Does it Apply and What Does it Require?” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (December 2017)

  • “Non-Prosecution Agreements Are the New Black: The Latest Trend Under the CFTC’s New Enforcement Regime” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (October 2017)

  • “The Best Defense is a Good Offense: A Practical Framework for Analyzing and Documenting Transactions and Trading Strategies to Limit Regulatory Liability” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (April 2017)

  • “Ground Hog Day: How Position Limits and the Dodd-Frank Act Tried to Ruin One of My All-Time Favorite Movies” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (July 2015)

  • “Energy Commodities: The Netherworld Between FERC and CFTC Jurisdiction” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (March 2013)

  • “Navigating the World of Renewable Energy” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (May 2009)

  • “Is the FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Jurisdiction Boundless?” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (October 2007)

  • “FERC’s New Anti-Manipulation Regime for Electricity and Natural Gas Transactions: Mixing Apples and Oranges” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (March 2006)

  • “Cooperating with Government Investigations: ‘You Say Cooperate, I Say Cooperhate” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (January 2004)

  • “Concurrent Investigations by the CFTC and the FERC Into Alleged Power and Natural Gas Price Manipulation: Who’s on First?” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (January 2003)


Government Investigations

  • Represented scores of swap dealers, futures commission merchants, wholesale energy and commodity dealers, merchants, financial institutions, producers and end users in CFTC, FERC, joint CFTC-FERC, and SRO investigations, many of which were closed without the initiation of enforcement actions
  • Negotiated many settlements with the CFTC, FERC and SROs on behalf of CFTC registrants and energy and commodity trading companies
  • Represented several U.S. and international financial institutions in purchasing and selling derivatives and commodities businesses and transaction portfolios

Structured Transactions

  • Represented financial institutions in monetizing commodity and derivatives transactions
  • Represented financial institutions in structured intermediation arrangements, commodity repurchase agreements, and secured hedging transactions
  • Represented financial institutions and energy marketers in structured renewable energy transactions
  • Represented commodity suppliers and hedge providers in long-term prepaid commodity purchase and sale transactions



Duke University School of Law, J.D., 1980 Trinity College, B.A., 1977

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia